Der Commons-Forscher David Bollier organisierte am 29. die Konferenz “Ready to Share: Fashion and the Ownership of Creativity„. Interessant daran war, dass die Konferenz am Beispiel der Modeindustrie aufzeigen wollte, wie eine weniger restriktive Handhabung von „Geistigem Eigentum“ (Der Begriff „Limitierte geistige Monopole“ passt eigentlich besser) mehr Innovation bringt. Denn BHs mit Leopardenfell können z.B. nicht patentiert werden, aber jeder kann daraus eigene Geschäftsmodelle (z.B. Brand draufsetzen) kreieren. Oder wie David Bollier darüber in seinem Weblog „OnTheCommons“ schreibt: They are all part of a vast creative commons. Seine Keynote findet sich hier im Real-Format.
If you listen to the film and music industries, there is only one way to assure healthy markets and a steady flow of new creativity: strict copyright protection. Yet one of the most creatively robust and competitive industries in the world – fashion – does quite well, thank you, with only the most minimal copyright controls over their work.
In apparel design, you can own your trademarked name and logo, but no one can own the creative design. No one can own hip-hugging denims, leopard-skin bikinis or the herring-bone suit. They are all part of a vast creative commons. Everyone constantly borrows, modifies and transforms other people’s creative work, and the industry is richer for that fact. There is, in fact, a whole niche of the fashion industry based on knocking-off dresses made by elite designers and worn by Hollywood starlets on the red carpet. While knock-offs may not have the prestige of an original Chanel or Gucci dress, no one calls the copy „piracy.“
The framework for creativity in fashion has a great deal in common with the digital world, in fact. From open source software to Wikipedia to the blogosphere, sharing and creative derivation are key elements in the process of creating something new. Originality and derivation blur into each other, making it difficult (or counter-productive!) to impose property boundaries based on some purported individual “originality.” Yet individuals and companies can still make money.
The point is that there are a variety of viable business models for creative endeavors that can be built around less-restrictive intellectual property regimes. This is being shown by IBM and Sun, which recently made dozens of their patents available to anyone, without payment or licensing, on an open source basis. Those companies realize (in this instance at least) that there is more money to be made by fostering a sufficiently large and robust knowledge commons (upon which one can build specialized value-added products and services) than by asserting strict proprietary control (which may actually prevent any marketplace from developing in the first place).